Sullivan County

Update: Deputies make second arrest in children's home sex investigation

SULILVAN COUNTY, Tenn. - Update: October 10, 2013 at 11:00 p.m.

The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office made a second arrest in an investigation into the Tri-State Children's Home in Bristol, Tennessee.

In May the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office said received information that an employee at the Tri-State Children's Home was involved in a sexual relationship with one of the students.

Upon further investigation Detective Tracy Haraz learned that Sonya Pickel was engaged in a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy.

In addition, the investigation revealed that Pickel allowed another 15-year-old male to engage in sex acts with an 11-year-old girl. She was also supplying some of the children with alcohol.

In July a Sullivan County Grand Jury indicted Pickel on charges of Facilitation of the Rape of a Child, Statutory Rape by an Authority Figure, Aggravated Statutory Rape, Failure to Report Child Sex Abuse, Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, and Furnishing Alcoholic Beverages to Minors. She was arrested and remains in the Sullivan County Correctional Facility on a $100,000 bond.

The sheriff's office said upon Pickel's arrest, the investigation into the children's home revealed that another employee, Rosa Emma Honeycutt, knew about the abuse but failed to report it to authorities. Honeycutt served as a supervisor at the home.

As a result Honeycutt was indicted by the Grand Jury this week on charges of Violation of Duty to Report Child Sex Abuse. She was arrested Thursday afternoon and transported to the Sullivan County Correctional Facility.

Update: October 9, 2013:

A Sullivan County woman was indicted on child rape charges.

Sullivan County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Leslie Earhart tells us that 26-year-old Sonya Pickel is charged with facilitation of the rape of a child, statutory rape by an authority figure, aggravated statutory rape, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and purchasing alcoholic beverages for minors.

Earhart says the charges stem from Pickel's time as an employee at a local children's center.

More details are expected to be released this week.

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